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This Mālama Ola Minute focuses on the parental monitoring of teens. Learn some positive parenting practices, including how to monitor your child's smartphone use, in this column brought to you by the KS Health Services Department - Mālama Ola (To Care for Life).

Mālama Ola Minute: Tips on Positive Parenting

Jan. 9, 2019

Parenting a teen is not easy. Yet, parental impact on a child’s safety and well-being may be most significant during this period. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “A key parental role is helping teens understand that their health and well-being – now and in the future – are not simply a matter of chance, but a matter of choice. By engaging in positive parenting, parents can help their adolescent make healthy choices.” 

Balancing an adolescent child’s developmental drive to be more independent with a parent’s desire to protect their keiki from harm can be challenging. A recommended strategy to help instill this balance is parental monitoring. According to the CDC, parental monitoring includes:

  1. The expectations parents have for their teen’s behavior;
  2. Actions parents take to keep track of their teen; and
  3. Ways parents respond if their teen breaks the rules.

Parental monitoring works best when parents establish and maintain open and caring relationships with their teens. You can promote a caring relationship with your teen by listening, asking questions, asking for opinions, offering support and praise and staying involved in his or her life. For both children and parents, having “tech-free” family times, such as during meals, can allow opportunities to stay connected. 

Following is some expert advice on how to raise teens:

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